Stuff I make cause I like to make stuff. LOL
Published on January 8, 2016 By drakesteele In Object Desktop

Dear Stardock Object Desktop staff:

Now that the Windows 10 OS has finally settled in as the primary version going forward for a while, and you've finally gotten to updating WindowBlinds, and given us a few Win10-targeted customizers, I'm wondering if we might start to see some updates to some of the other classic OD apps, or new customization apps that perform some of their functions, such as:

 

  • Using Icon packagfes?
  • DesktopX widgets and ObjectBar bars?
  • An updated Soundpackager?
  • A revamped, updated ObjectDock?
  • etc...

 

I ask because I miss some of these wonderful apps that worked so well for so long across 95, 98, ME, XP, Win 7... you guys kept up for what seemed like forever, and I think we all got used to your being just always so on top of each new windows release... but you've been understandably gunshy to update some with the last couple releases, waiting until they're well and truly established before tackling them, and then not doing all of them... Now that Win 10 is supposed to be the platform going forward with everything being done as a set of evolutionary updates to this OS rather than complete revisions, will we finally see the bold OS customizations of the glory days?

- your avid fan,

 

- Drake Steele.

P.S.: Some of these, like IconPackager and SoundPackager, still work in 10 with minimal futzing if you fudge the windows version to the installer and make one or two tweaks. So honestly, some would take very minimal work to get up to date to at least be functional with win10 again.  Can we get some of them fixed up? Pretty please? - Drake.


Comments (Page 1)
on Jan 08, 2016

Please do not override the OS detection for IconPackager.

Once installed it will trash your icons on uninstall.  There is a very good reason it is blocked from working on Windows 10!

on Jan 08, 2016

Neil Banfield

There is a very good reason it is blocked from working on Windows 10!

That's a real shame if by that you mean there will never be a Win10 version of IP. 

on Jan 08, 2016

We plan to do an IconPackager for Windows 10, but unfortunately, a lot of the cool stuff you guys are used to isn't as much in demand at is used to so we can't put a lot of engineering resources on it.

on Jan 08, 2016

Hope those plans bear fruit, Brad.

Sorry to hear that the demand is waning to that degree.

'Bout to re-up, here, FWIW, & a Surface Pro 4 likely to be had by spring, so...

on Jan 09, 2016

Frogboy

We plan to do an IconPackager for Windows 10, but unfortunately, a lot of the cool stuff you guys are used to isn't as much in demand at is used to so we can't put a lot of engineering resources on it.

My demand... or should I say interest hasn't waned one iota, and I'm pretty sure many other OD subscribers want to see the core components, especially that of IconPackager, maintained and updated on a more regular basis.  I've been holding off on upping my OD sub due to the uncertainity surrounding Iconpackager,  but if there were a firm commitment to its continued development I'd update in a heartbeat, without hesitation.

As for the waning demand, there will always be a core base of customers who will want to customise and skin their desktops.  However, it could very well be that some hardcore skinners/costomisers became disillusioned and dropped off because of Stardock's change of focus towards gaming... feeling [again] that it was the beginning of the end of skinning.

In a way you can't blame them.  Other customisation software developers during the period had disappeared or went to the wall, with others changing their focus to gaming or other endeavours, so when apps like Iconpackager were put very much on the back burner to make way for game development, Stardock was seen as going the same way, and maybe long time, hardcore skinners/customisers felt; "What's the point?"

So, is it really a drop in demand, or just that the support and software development to keep on skinning/customising seemed to be disappearing? 

on Jan 09, 2016

What's chicken, what's egg is of little relevance - if SD doesn't anticipate a return on that dev investment, even if that anticipation is wrong, it won't happen.  In which case, we'll never know.  Don't blame them, nature of the biz.

on Jan 09, 2016

Daiwa

What's chicken, what's egg is of little relevance - if SD doesn't anticipate a return on that dev investment, even if that anticipation is wrong, it won't happen.  In which case, we'll never know.  Don't blame them, nature of the biz.

Oh well, if IconPackager isn't updated to work properly on Win 8.1 [don't give a fech about 10] then updating my OD subscription does become somewhat doubtful... and from what I've been reading, quite a few OD users feel the same way, in particular those on Win 10.  Without the ability to easily change desktop icons in 10, there simply is no point to customising the rest of it.  I mean, seriously, who the fech wants to see a skinned UI totally feched up by MS' butt ugly icons?   Those Fisher Price rejects ruin everything, so yeah, I sincerely hope a revamped Iconpackager is in the works and due for release sooner rather than later.

on Jan 09, 2016

Neil Banfield

Please do not override the OS detection for IconPackager.

Once installed it will trash your icons on uninstall.  There is a very good reason it is blocked from working on Windows 10!

 

No disrespect Neil, but that has happened since the XP days with IP.

on Jan 09, 2016

starkers
So, is it really a drop in demand, or just that the support and software development to keep on skinning/customising seemed to be disappearing?

Drop on demand, lack of interest. Vista/Win7 were good looking enough for interest in skinning Windows (or make it look like MacOSX, which fueled a lot of this too) to drop like a ton of bricks. As Brad also stated in a previous article he wrote, skinning Windows was now so complex (i.e.; so many elements to skin) that it became a core instead of being fun. Anyway, have a look at this last thread in the AquaSoft forums for more reasons why.

RAM no longer being a problem as well as a ton of improvements to the Windows Explorer shell since the Win9x days, again making it good enough, also killed most of the Windows Shell replacements (Litestep, etc...).

Windows 10 made Windows butt ugly again, but interest in skinning it will never go back to what it once was. Skinning was new at some point, now it's old news. Most software already looks 'good enough'.

on Jan 09, 2016

JcRabbit

Windows 10 made Windows butt ugly again, but interest in skinning it will never go back to what it once was. Skinning was new at some point, now it's old news. Most software already looks 'good enough'.

I beg to differ.

-There's a whole new generation out there that for a fact never even heard of skinning or that anything CAN even be done about the looks of the Windows OS.

I am of the firm belief that a wide marketing campaign -advertising, would open up the eyes of the most part of that generation (and a lot of the ones before too that never heard about skinning either) and skinning and windowblinds would have a BIG comeback !

on Jan 09, 2016

Not only skinning died in the last 7-8 years. "Desktop" died. Just look what happened to Windows. Today skinning is about changing launcher on your Android device and maybe icons too. Younger people don't care about desktop or so it seems. Even Linux skinning died during this period.

on Jan 09, 2016

I sympathize with you, neone6, but JcR is probably more right than wrong.

Lots of reasons that interest in skinning in general is down.  For one, as you well know (you do great work, BTW), it's now very difficult to produce a quality skin absent significant skill with graphics apps and TONS of time.  Doing a skin justice is a pixel-by-pixel endeavor and my hat's off to those of you still at it.

For 6 or 7 years I was an enthusiastic WB skinner & spent a fair amount of time doing it as a hobby, mainly for my own use.  Producing a nice, quality skin was fairly straightforward, even including animations, and I could have a very usable one from scratch in a week or three, sometimes more depending on how self-critical I was at the time.  Even published a few (2006, 2007).  Unfortunately, it got to be more like work with Windows7, with a lot more images & details to manage.  Maybe it's just a reflection of my natural interest curve over time, but I don't think I'm alone among folks who've been around WC 14-15 years.  Many/most of the early artists most skilled at WB skinning (I'll use essorant as just one example) eventually moved on.

Even though IconPackager & IconDeveloper have always been quirky enough to be a bit frustrating, at one time I considered doing some IP packages & spent hours attempting to get the hang of creating icons by studying mormegil's tutorials (which are awesome, BTW).  In the event, I found it too complicated and time-intensive for an amateur, part-time skinner like me.

Of course, I've limited myself to WC & SD apps, so there's that, but I think SD have the data & a good understanding of the trends over the past 4-5 years.  My guess is that interest/activity peaked with XP & has been waning since the release of Win7.

YMMV

on Jan 09, 2016


My guess is that interest/activity peaked with XP & has been waning since the release of Win7.

That's my understanding too. Windows XP was the golden days for desktop and skinning. Windows 7 is more locked down and it only got worse from there.

on Jan 09, 2016

Well, we have different beliefs apparently

on Jan 09, 2016

neone6

Well, we have different beliefs apparently

 

As much as I want to believe otherwise I am pessimistic about this. Desktop and skinning were killed by "mobile". Desktop is seen as old technology and nobody "brags" about their desktop anymore. Having the latest iPhone or Samsung is all that matters. The whole tech world has been screaming "mobile" for the past 5-6 years. Mobile is the new religion. If you don't use a smartphone people think you are retarded...

Hopefully the future will prove that I am all wrong about this!

 

May the force be strong with desktop/skinning and overthrow the evil mobile empire!

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